BC weed shops can sell a new "range of items" but no snacks

Nov 26 2021, 11:18 pm

The shelves at your local dispensary might have some exciting new additions soon thanks to BC’s weed rules loosening some restrictions.

According to an update from the province on Friday, November 26, private licensed cannabis retail stores (CRSs) will be able to sell a new range of cannabis-related products that aren’t weed.

The move is set to provide “customers with more choice and legal cannabis sellers with additional revenue streams,” according to the release.

In the release, Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said that expanding “the range of items available through private licensees will provide further support to a thriving, legal cannabis sector in BC.”

“At the same time, important restrictions will remain in place to help prevent unsafe activities and ensure we’re not promoting or supporting the use of cannabis by minors.”

The new rules are effective as of Friday, November 26, and they will let private CRSs sell “ancillary items that have a clear link to cannabis and meet certain conditions related to health and safety.”

That can include a whole range of products, from books and artwork to clothing and accessories featuring “cannabis motifs.” Four other provinces in Canada already have relaxed rules like these in place.

While the new rules will expand offerings, they’re firm on keeping the sale of items that are “unrelated to cannabis,” like potato chips or soda, completely prohibited. They’re also not permitted to sell tobacco or liquor.

Prior to the new change, CRSs were even more restricted in what they could sell, such as strictly cannabis and accessories like rolling papers and pipes.

Jaclynn Pehota with the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers said that they welcome the change. “Many of our customers have a strong interest in peripheral items related to cannabis culture, like clothing,” she said.

There are a few rules about the ancillary items sold through CRSs.

  • Items cannot depict a real or fictional person, animal or character, or include a testimonial or endorsement
  • Items that are typically associated with, or could reasonably appeal to, minors — such as children’s clothing — cannot be sold
  • Items cannot associate cannabis with a lifestyle that may include glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.

The province said that before it made changes to its cannabis regulations, it considered many factors, from industry input and federal legislation to public-health objectives and potential effects on minors.


Sarah AndersonSarah Anderson

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